So, a friend and I were yapping yesterday about sex (I’m running out of words that basically mean talk, since every post has me yacking to someone else) 😳. Both of us have, ahem, been ‘without’ for a while (she a bit longer than me) and we were discussing when it’s appropriate to have it in a new relationship.
We live in a hook-up culture, don’t we? My students and I talk about this in our Human Sexuality class, and I’ve had so many girls tell me it’s easier to find a ‘fuck buddy’ (sorry ma) than a relationship. I’m not saying all younger guys are like that by any means (my son better not have been); however, in our society men are socialized to equate sex with masculinity and scoring means you’re a ‘real man’. Look at the language used to describe sex with women: tap that, bang, get lucky, bone, slay, get busy, bump uglies (😳), nail, ride, etc. Hmmmm. It’s a conquest. And if a guy doesn’t take advantage of an opportunity to be with a woman (imagine a man turning a woman down and then telling his buddies…hmmmm…), well…he must be gay. 🙄
And in our society? Sex comes first in relationships. It’s almost like couples have sex and then decide if they are emotionally compatible with all of the things that go along with it. In addition, with society telling men they need to have sex to show they’re a real man, this might be pushed to the head of the line for that reason alone. I’ve had so many male students tell me they lost their virginity at 14, 15, 16…just because their friends already had sex and they were being mocked for being a virgin. They felt enormous pressure to show they were a ‘real man’ too, so they just had it. No love. No intimacy. In fact, how do you even know what those things are at 15? So they did it just to ‘score’ points with their buddies. Isn’t that sad?
And then women? We are so objectified and are ‘told’ that the worst thing in the world (I’m being a bit dramatic here) is to ‘hold’ out on your man. Or really any man that wants you. If you do? OMG. You’re a bitch. A tease. Something must be wrong with you…are you frigid? After all, we’re here to please men and not doing so sets us apart from the women who do. Why go through all the rigmaroll of a relationship, when you can just hop on a futon with someone else?
Last spring, in my Marriage and Family class, we were talking about these issues, and 2 of my girls stated they were virgins. Actually, 1 did, and then when there was so much heated discussion, another admitted to the same. Just that alone should tell you something is very wrong. For an 18 year old to believe, and often justifiably so, that she will be berated for being a virgin is very unjust to me. Anyhoot, one of my older male students (40’s) said he didn’t believe the girls because “No girl stays a virgin anymore…it’s just not done.” So, I asked: “Tell me why isn’t it done? Why can’t this be believed?” And he said: “Girls need to put out or they won’t have their guy.”
OK. Girls need to ‘put out’ or they won’t have their guy. Really? That’s what keeps a couple connected nowadays? Her ‘putting out’? Hmmmmm.
And the funny thing is this: 50 years ago, the ‘girls’ who weren’t virgins would have been the ones looked down on. Not the girls who were. It was right to ‘save’ yourself for marriage. It was Biblical. It was expected. We’ve done a complete turn-a-round and now women have the pressure to keep their man happy or lose him to someone else who does.
I hear a lot of teacher talk and in some of the local grade schools, girls have been caught giving oral sex to boys in the bathroom, around the corner of the building during recess…pretty much anywhere they can. See, this is status to them! It’s sex! It’s ‘putting out’ and making these guys like you.
Are you fucking kidding me? Our GRADE SCHOOL girls are saying they need to do this in order to have status and boys around them? OK. Where do I even start? First, when I was in 5th, 6th grade, I didn’t even know what a BJ was! (I can’t type it…my ma would probably have a heart attack or call me yelling…either one is bad…). Seriously! And then when my sissy taught me about sex (over pop tarts one morning and with napkin drawings) when I was in Jr. High, I was disgusted by the thought of oral sex…as were my friends! In other words, we weren’t ready for anything like that, and didn’t feel pressure to do it. Actually, the girls who did ‘do it’ were looked down on as ‘sluts’.
These poor girls break my heart. How did they learn so early that pleasuring a man is the way to be ‘liked’? And bless them, because they are being liked for what they can do with their mouths. Not who they are. Where’s their self-esteem? Where is their understanding that doing what you are being pressured to do is wrong? Where is their self-respect? Where the hell are their parents who should be teaching some freaking values to them? I don’t get it.
I also think about how they are learning that pleasing a guy is the most important thing. What about their pleasure? We talk so much about all of the meds and devices that are out there for men to continue to enjoy sex in regards to impotency, but around 75% of women don’t orgasm from vaginal intercourse, they need extra help (toys, hands, tongue…). And, 10-15% never orgasm under any circumstance (abcnews.com). Where’s the help for this? The outcry? Why don’t we take the pleasure of women as seriously as we do the pleasure of men? Doesn’t that alone say something about sex and gender in our society?
Before my son started the 6th grade, I bought him a book…complete with drawings. I gave it to him in the summer (we always had a summer school project) and he read a chapter a day, filled out the info, and then we talked about it. Yes, it was uncomfortable. Yes, it was probably mortifying to him (I’m sure he’s nodding his head vigorously now), but guess what? He learned the mechanics of sex along with the physical, emotional and social consequences of it. Then, when he was around 16, we were driving home from dinner and he asked me some direct questions about sex (he always talked better in the car when I wasn’t looking directly at him). Basically, he asked me about sex before marriage, whether he should always use a condom, and what I would have thought if he had been gay.
So, here’s what I sad: “I don’t think it’s realistic to think men and women wait until almost 30 to have sex (that’s around the average age people are getting married now), but that’s a choice you need to make. All I ask is that you be respectful, loving, and kind to any partner you have. Yes, you provide the protection even if she’s on something; for the love of all that is holy in this entire universe, wear a freaking condom every time. Never have sex with anyone you can’t raise a baby with, because you will accept full responsibility if she gets pregnant. And who gives a shit if you would have been gay? (His friend came out as bi-sexual so I think that’s where that question came from). All I know is I want grandbabies…one way or another.” 😐
Our poor young people need guidance. Conversation. But instead, according to my scores of students over the years, they aren’t getting it from their parents. They see it TV, look online (8-11 is the average age kids start to see porn online), and hear stories from their friends. Wow. I know people who have kids that are at the age where they need information now! Yet, these parents refuse to bring it up. Refuse to sit their kids down and talk to them. So…what’s going to happen when they are around this pressure? These expectations? How will they ever be able to make informed decisions? And, will they be punished if they make the wrong ones? Believe me when I say this: Ignorance is NOT bliss, and not talking about it will NOT make the issues go away.
But, here’s the kicker (as if all of this wasn’t enough already), even people my age live in a hook-up culture at times. One of the guys I dated this past winter (he was a real winner) was pissed when I wouldn’t sleep with him after seeing him twice. What? Really? Just because I’m, ahem, a bit over 50 doesn’t mean I don’t want to build intimacy…need connection…and for piss sakes, need to be in love! C’mon now. Why is that so wrong?
I hate that sex is used as a tool nowadays. As just something to do because it feels good (sigh…I’ve kinda forgotten ). As a way to gain ‘status’ or keep a partner (believe me…the keeping part doesn’t necessarily work…sigh again). That it’s ‘expected’ just because ‘everyone else is doing it.’ Even infidelity is becoming common. More than 40% of couples experience this in their marriage, and so many will justify it by saying: “It’s just sex.” Okey dokey. Glad you took those vows.
What happened to love? Seriously. What happened to waiting until sex will have a deep meaning for you? Part of a relationship that has built intimacy and trust and respect? Why have we weakened what sex is all about? When did it just become another thing to do? Another Saturday night?
It makes me sad. It makes me sad that guys have to prove themselves sexually to be accepted and it makes me even sadder that women are succumbing to pressure. I don’t have an answer for this, and maybe there isn’t one. It’s awfully hard to move backwards rather than forward. But I just wish sex wasn’t such a ‘goal’, but a personal, intimate, loving connection that means something very special. And, it breaks my heart that so many young people will never know that experience. 💔